Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Wittgenstein on Truth

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Paul Horwich
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

The topic is Wittgenstein’s eventual abandonment of his Tractatus idea that a sentence is true if and only if it depicts a possible fact that obtains, and his coming (in the Investigations) to replace this with a deflationary view of truth. Three objection to the initial idea that will be discussed here are: (i) that its theory of ‘depiction’ relies on an unexplicated concept of word-object reference; (ii) that its notion of a possible fact obtaining (or existing, or being actual, or agreeing with reality) is also left mysterious; and…

Russellian Diagonal Arguments and Other Logico-Mathematical Tools in Metaphysics

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Laureano Luna
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

In its most general form, a diagonal argument is an argument intending to show that not all objects of a certain class C are in a certain set S, and does so by constructing a diagonal object, that is to say, an object of the class C so defined as to be other than all the objects in S. We revise three arguments inspired by the Russell paradox (an argument against Computationalism, an argument against Physicalism, and a counterargument to the Platonic One Over Many argument), extract its underlying structure,…

The Contemporary Relevance of Peirce’s Views on the Logic and Metaphysics of Relations

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Claudine Tiercelin
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

Independently of Frege or Russell, C.S. Peirce made major contributions to the history of the logic and metaphysics of relations. After presenting his metaphysical interpretation of relations and his emphasis on the reality and irreducibility of relations, the paper shows how Peirce’s views are tied to the dispositional realism he defends within a scientific realistic metaphysics, and why they are still relevant for assessing the logical and ontological status of relations, and insightful for the meta-physical agenda to pursue today.

Externalist Thought Experiments and Directions of Fit

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Casey Woodling
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

The classic thought experiments for Content Externalism have been motivated by consideration of intentional states with a mind-to-world direction of fit. In this paper, I argue that when these experiments are run on intentional states with a world-to-mind direction of fit, the thought experiments actually support Content Internalism. Because of this, I argue that the classic thought experiments alone cannot properly motivate Content Externalism. I do not show that Content Externalism is false in this paper, just that it cannot be motivated by the classic thought experiments alone. I discuss…

Introduction: Thinking the (Im)possible [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Carola Barbero, Andrea Iacona, Alberto Voltolini
Topics: Introduction

The issue of the relationship between our cogitative abilities, in particular the ability of thinking about something that does not exist, and modal characteristics, in particular those featuring unactualized (im)possibilities, i.e., the ways the world might (not) have been, has always been very intricate. In analytic philosophy, reflection on this matter has started by reviving an optimistic thesis traditionally ascribed to Hume, according to which conceivability entails possibility: if something is conceivable, then it is also possible. As Wittgenstein clearly suggests in the incipit of the Tractatus logico-philosophicus, where he…

Thinking the Impossible [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Graham Priest
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic

The article looks at the structure of impossible worlds, and their deployment in the analysis of some intentional notions. In particular, it is argued that one can, in fact, conceive anything, whether or not it is impossible. Thus a semantics of conceivability requires impossible worlds.

Counterpossibles in Semantics and Metaphysics [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Timothy Williamson
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophical logic

This paper defends from recent objections and misunderstandings the orthodox view that subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents are true. It explains apparent counterexamples as cases where a normally reliable suppositional heuristic for assessing conditionals gives incorrect results, which some theorists take at face value.

Impossible Worlds and the Intensional Sense of ‘And’ [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Luis Estrada-González
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic

In this paper I show that the ‘and’ in an argument like Lewis’ against concrete impossible worlds cannot be simply assumed to be extensional. An allegedly ‘and’-free argument against impossible worlds employing an alternative definition of ‘contradiction’ can be presented, but besides falling prey of the usual objections to the negation involved in it, such ‘and’-free argument is not quite so since it still needs some sort of premise-binding, thus intensional ‘and’ is needed and that suffices to block the argument at a stage prior to the steps about negation.

S4 to 5D [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Takayashi Yagisawa
Topics: Philosophical logic

The modal logical axiom 4 is widely accepted. It is the characteristic axiom of the modal logical system S4, which is subsumed under the most popular modal logical system S5. Axiom 4 is equivalent to ◇◇P → ◇P (“If possibly possibly P, then possibly P”), which requires that the accessibility relation between worlds be transitive. There is a powerful argument (Hugh Chandler 1976, Nathan Salmon 1981, 1989) against axiom 4. It rests on the thought that an ordinary object could have had a slightly different origin from its actual origin but…

World Stories and Maximality [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Vittorio Morato
Topics: Philosophical logic

According to many actualist conceptions of modality, talk about possible worlds should be reduced to talk about world stories. Intuitively, a world story is a complete description of how things could be. In this paper, I will claim that the world story approach not only suffers from the well-known, expressive problem of representing the thesis of the possible existence of non-actual objects, but it has troubles in representing, in an actualistically acceptable way, the apparently more tractable thesis of the possible non-existence of actual objects. To solve this problem, I…
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